Toyota announced on Monday that the 2020 Yaris Hatchback, a model with a long and complicated history, will make its debut at the New York International next month.
The 2020 Yaris Hatchback is essentially a rebranded, hatch-styled Mazda2, as the Mazda subcompact is not currently sold in the US.
However, the model did make it to the States in 2015 when Toyota and Mazda signed an agreement that saw the Mazda2 renamed the iA sedan and sold in the US under Scion, a now-discontinued Toyota brand. When Scion became defunct, the iA became the Yaris iA which then became just Yaris. Throughout all the name changes, the model continued to be a rebranded Mazda2 - and the Yaris Hatchback too has the bones of the Mazda2.
Bear in mind the Yaris for Malaysia is based on the region-specific Vios and is different from the one for the US market. The third-generation Yaris for Malaysia is due for launch soon with three variants priced from RM72,000 to RM85,000 (estimated). They will run on a 1.5-litre engine and are up to RM5,000 cheaper than the Vios sedan.
For the 2020 model year, the 2019 Yaris sedan, aka the Mazda2 sedan, was transformed into the 2020 Yaris Hatch with a "bulldog-like stance" and "gutsy attitude" that will especially benefit urbanites.
Though this model is longer than the 2018 Yaris Liftback, it has a tight 9.9m turning circle that will allow drivers to get into those hard-to-reach parking spaces and twist and turn around heavy traffic.
The audio system is composed of six speakers and a 7-inch touchscreen display that can support both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Integrated voice recognition technology allows for hands-free phone operation.
As standard, the hatch comes with a slew of driver assist features and safety systems like a Low-speed Pre-Collision Safety System, Traction Control System, Anti-lock Brake System, and Brake Override System as well as Dynamic Stability Control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, and Brake Assist.
Its power comes from a 1.5-litre inline four-cylinder engine that produces up to 106hp with a 6-speed automatic transmission. An additional Sport Mode gives the car "enhanced acceleration response."
The Yaris Hatchback will be offered in two trims: LE and XLE. The latter is upgraded with leatherette upholstery, automatic climate control, rain-sensing windshield wipers, automatic LED headlamps, and a leather-trimmed steering wheel, shift knob, and parking brake handle.
The 2020 Toyota Yaris Hatchback will debut at the New York International Auto Show, which opens to the public on April 19. The price has not yet been announced, but it will probably be a bit above that of the 2019 Yaris sedan whose MSRP is US$15,450 (RM64,000).